Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Creating Events

Lesson two of Red Bull's lessons in youth marketing.

"Create, don't sponsor events."

Forget youth marketing, that's a great thought, full stop. I love Red Bull's marketing (can't stand the drink, but that's not the point.) With £272m per year to play with globally, you could buy a hell of a lot of TV spots, or you could set yourself apart and buy a Formula 1 team, invent the Flugtag and the Air Race and create something really special.

This is how you 'do' word of mouth. Start by creating something that people will want to talk about, then make it easy to get content about it. Contrast what Red Bull do with the 'people are talking on Twitter, what can we do to get them to talk about us on Twitter?' approach. Forget Twitter, if people want to talk about you then they'll talk in all sorts of places and one of them will be Twitter.

Now make it easy to get the content. People will find you. You're going to need a Twitter page, but as a response to people talking, not as a seed.

I'm very, very excited this week because the Red Bull X-Alps started on Sunday. It's an 818km race across the Alps, on foot and by paraglider that means, right now, thirty incredibly fit and skilled people are trying to be the first to get to Monaco. You've got to carry your kit or fly it and there are no stages. Sleep at night if you like, but somebody else will be running.

The X-Alps is much smaller than Formula 1 or the Air Race, but a community of enthusiasts is absolutely buzzing. On Facebook, on Twitter and [shock horror] in real life. Don't talk to me until the end of next week unless you want to hear about the race... (sorry everybody*)

The Twitter bit is easy and cheap. If you're not going to put this level of effort into your viral campaigns, then lets be honest, what's the point? Spend whatever budget you've got on TV spots, lets stop pretending you've got something people are interested in talking about and I'm off to see how far Chrigel Maurer went today.

* After the race, I'll go back to just boring everybody about normal paragliding, promise.

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